First Grade January 2019 Update

Dear First Grade Families,

Happy New Year!  We hope this letter finds you all well.  The students have been working very hard in First Grade.  2019 is off to a great start! We have begun new units of study in reading, writing, and math.

In Writing Workshop, the class has been focusing on persuasive writing.  In this unit we will be exploring both opinion writing and reviews.  We have been learning about what an opinion is.  We have begun with judging fairly and ranking collection of objects in our classroom.  We are beginning to discuss different types of opinions and what it means to persuade someone.  The students are working on writing focused and organized pieces that clearly state their opinion along with reasons to support it.  They will be keeping their audience in mind as they write with an eye on influencing the reader’s attitude or opinion.  Through this study each writer will learn to categorize, rank, compare, and justify opinions about a variety of things.  Writers will develop opinions with reasons and examples to support their opinions.  We will also continue to sharpen our editing skills by looking over and rereading what we have written. Some editing areas of focus are: proper formation of lower case letters, appropriate use of upper and lower case letters, consistent spacing, and making sure our writing is easy to read.

In Reading, we are focusing on the reading process!  The new unit focuses on the level of processing that our kids are doing in their reading and on their mind-set when reading can feel like really hard work.  The children will be learning to be the bosses of their own reading, balancing their energies between word solving and meaning making so that their experiences with texts are well-rounded, thoughtful, efficient and meaningful.  Throughout this unit we will attempt to cultivate a real curiosity about words.  The children will feel empowered with a “bag” full of strategies to self monitor, making sure their reading looks right, sounds right and make sense. Reading partners will also be working together to support the development of meaning in their books by retelling, predicting, and asking questions about their texts.  We look forward to all of these exciting conversations about the books inside and outside the classroom!

In Math, we are entering our unit titled “How Many Stickers? How Many Cents?”  This unit, focuses on the place value of 2-digit numbers and operating on those numbers within 100. We hope that students will come to see 100 as 10 tens and multiples of 100 as being made up by some number of hundreds.  They will be solving a host of story problems, including but not limited to: put together/take apart with one or both addends unknown (12 + b = 64 or 53- c = 25), add to and take from with the result unknown, problems with an unknown change or an unknown start.  It’s important to note that students will also be identifying, reading and writing numbers to 500, and adding and subtracting 10 in that range.

Students are really enjoying our “Mystery Readers”.  Each Friday the classes are full of excitement predicting who the reader will be!

As always please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, and/or delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah